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The Small Signs of Bike-Share Success

These programs promise big things for cities, but changes in habits—like parking—take time.
relates to The Small Signs of Bike-Share Success
Keith Srakocic/AP

Bike-share programs start off with big, bold New Year’s Resolution-style ambitions. They promise to save cities money, make people healthy, and convert commuters to the Gospel of Good Cycling.

But just like setting attainable goals for the new year, we should look to small changes in habit—rather than an overnight transformation—to measure a bike-share program’s success.

The behavior changes produced by bike share are subtle, but could be significant. That’s the main takeaway from a recent working paper on Social Science Research Network (SSRN) by Konstantinos Pelechrinis at University of Pittsburgh and Beibei Li and Sean Qian at Carnegie Mellon University.